Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day (Even if We Are Not Together)!

The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. Happy Earth Week folks! 

While the celebrations, parties, fundraisers, cleanups, plantings, and other Earth Week events are all (mostly) cancelled this year due to the pandemic we’re in the midst of, the beauty and magic of Mother Earth carries on. 

So yes, there may not be a Community Tree Planting to attend, no scenic Park Inventory to partake in, and no great big Canopy Awards to cap it all off, but your actions still impact your life, our city, and our Earth. This year, let’s go back to the beginning where your love for trees and nature probably started – right out your window in your own yard!

Plant | We have loads of free residential planting programs – from RiverSmart Homes, to Right Tree, Right Place, to Tree Rebates –  that make it super easy to add a tree to your landscape.

Preserve | The Save Our Soil program works with homeowners to place conservation easements on their land in order to keep it green forever – regardless of development and population growth!

Protect | When rain falls on impervious surfaces (buildings, cars, sidewalks, parking lots, houses, etc) it picks up everything that was on those surfaces (sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides and metals) and runs into storm drains and makes it way, untreated, to our waterways, wrecking havoc. This is called stormwater runoff and it is a huge urban problem.  Trees, with their canopies of leaves and vast, thirsty, underground root system, absorb quite a lot of stormwater. Protect our rivers, waterways, and banks by planting and protecting city trees. 

Prevent | Consistent watering is one of the best ways to ensure a young tree establishes itself. Water your new trees, and new trees along city streets, to make certain they can grow into strong, healthy, mature trees with amplified benefits. Any tree is good, but mature trees and their associated benefits are great.

Proud | We can’t get together for Earth Week but we can get up, get out and make a difference. Our friend and longtime partner, Little Sesame, is hosting a virtual 5K for Earth Day that we’re proud to support.

Order this rad shirt designed by D.C. native Rose Jaffe! All proceeds go right back into planting trees in D.C.!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the plantable space that the government and organizations have access to is not growing. In fact, it’s shrinking. The next frontier for the urban forest is private land, which is to say, it’s in your hands dear readers!

 

And while it’s great to take a day to thank our Earth for keeping us alive and well, it’s also important to contribute to its wellbeing year-round. Plant it forward and pledge to make a difference all year. Our planet, its trees, and future generations thank you.

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